What is Sciatica and how do you treat Sciatic nerve pain?

What is Sciatica and how do you treat Sciatic nerve pain?

For anyone who has ever had sciatica, you know how excruciatingly painful it can be. If you’ve ever wondered what is causing the pain, what can be done to fix it, and what you can do at home to help, then this article will help you to better understand what sciatica is and how to treat it safely and effectively without surgery.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a problem that affects the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the human body. The sciatic nerve begins in the lower back and sacral area, specifically from the nerve roots from vertebral levels L4-S3. The nerve then travels from the lower back, through the buttocks down the back of both legs and eventually into the feet.

Sciatica is a condition that typically causes pain in the lower back and down into the legs, sometimes travelling as far down as the feet. It’s typically caused by some type of pressure on the sciatic nerve, often because of inflammation or swelling, which may lead to sensations of numbness, tingling or pain into the lower back or down into the legs.

Sciatica has become increasingly common over time, and is estimated to affect as many as 40 percent of people during the course of their lifetime, becoming increasingly common as people age.

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica is most often caused by compression of the sciatic nerve as it exits from the spinal cord. This compression can take place locally at the spine, or may occur further down as the nerve passes down the buttocks and legs.

One of the most common causes of sciatica is from a bulging disc, herniated disc or slipped disc pressing on the sciatic nerve in one of three ways:

  1. Direct pressure from a protruding spinal disk
  2. Compression from inflammation
  3. Compression from swelling

Sciatica may also occur from advanced arthritis or degeneration in the lumbar spine (degenerative disc disease), and from other conditions like a spondylolisthesis (slippage of one of the lumbar vertebra). In addition, misalignment of the lower lumbar spine or sacrum can result in decreased motion and localized inflammation, resulting in localized muscle spasm. Such misalignment may contribute to sciatica.

Muscular hypertonicity, such as piriformis syndrome in the gluteal area, may also contribute to sciatica, when there is direct muscular compression on the sciatic nerve caused by spasm of the piriformis muscle.

Other cases of acute trauma or injury, fracture, tumours or infection may also be responsible for sciatica, although these are far less common.

With severe spinal arthritis in the lumbar spine, lumbar spinal stenosis may also cause sciatica.

Many of these causes of sciatica are caused by excessive physical lifting or repetitive and overuse injuries involving the lower back, over many years. These flexion or forward bending type actions increase the likelihood of lumbar disc injuries and arthritis, leading to inflammation and an increased probability of compression of the sciatic nerve.

To fully understand what the underlying cause is, following a thorough history and physical examination, it is often recommended to have additional diagnostic testing done, in the form of x-rays, CAT scans, or MRIs.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

Sciatica symptoms vary significantly between patients, but often involves sharp or shooting severe pain in the lower back or leg area. This pain may be more localized in the gluteal or hip area, but as the sciatica worsens will often travel more distally down the leg, towards the knee, and even beyond to the feet.

Symptoms of sciatica may also be experienced as a tingling sensation, pins and needles, numbness or even a weakness in the legs or feet.

The pain or other symptoms may often be aggravated with prolonged sitting, with bending forwards to pick up items, with heavy lifting, or when twisting in bed a night. This may make sleeping very difficult, getting out of bed very painful, and may limit the ability to walk long distances.

In some rare cases, these symptoms may also be associated with problems like bladder control or bowel movements. If you experience any of these symptoms, sometimes also combined with altered sensation on the inner portions of your thighs, this may be a rare but serious condition considered a medical emergency termed Cauda Equina Syndrome. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please go to your local Emergency Department immediately, as there may be direct and serious compression on your spinal cord.

Treatments for sciatica?

Treatment options for sciatica vary significantly depending on the underlying cause and on the level of severity of symptoms.

Bed Rest

While in the past bed rest and inactivity were recommended, current research shows that for the vast majority of patients, staying upright and active provides more relief and better long-term patient outcomes. Bed rest may feel good initially, but prolonged inactivity has been shown to worsen the condition and slow down recovery, as well as resulting in muscle weakness over time.

Walking and Activity

Ideally, sciatica patients are encouraged to stay upright in the morning after waking from bed and to try to walk and move as much as possible. Walking has been shown to be one of the most effective forms of movement for sciatica patients. Minimizing forward bending and prolonged sitting has also been shown to help recovery and prevent flare ups.

Anti-inflammatory medications

Sciatica treatment may also include medication such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) which may be helpful in the early stages of sciatica to reduce pain. Although not curative in nature, they may provide some temporary relief. 

Alternative Treatments

Other alternative treatments like massage therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment and traction have all been shown to have benefit with sciatica patients, depending on the specific cause of sciatica.


For more severe cases, doctors and orthopaedic surgeons may recommend surgery to remove the cause of inflammation or blockage of the sciatic nerve, although any surgical intervention comes with significantly higher risk of potential complications. 

Tips to help treat Sciatica naturally at home

  1. The first step in self care is to avoid the cause of your sciatica pain. You should avoid aggravating factors that may be responsible for your sciatica pain such as sitting or standing for long periods of time, or excessive forward bending, which can worsen sciatica pain. Avoid prolonged sitting on anything that is soft that may compress the low back, and minimize any hunched or slouched posture.
  2. Staying upright and moving around, ideally walking, will help with sciatica pain relief. Movement in your lower back is important to minimize the strain on the intervertebral discs and nerves in your low back. Movement is important, so you should only lay down if walking or standing is too painful, or you are becoming tired. Laying down is preferable to sitting.
  3. If you have to lay down, the best option is on your back with a small pillow under your knees, to help keep your hamstrings relaxed. Alternatively, you can lay on your side with a pillow between your knees.
  4. It is important to avoid or minimize how much sitting you do in the first hour of the morning, particularly after getting out of bed. It is important to stay upright and moving for the first 30-60 minutes in the morning, to minimize the pressure on the lumbar discs for pain relief. There is more pressure in your lumbar discs at first when you get out of bed, so this is the time of the day you must be most careful with sciatica.

Hot or Cold Treatment for Sciatica?

The most current research shows that cold treatment or ice treatment is likely most effective in the initial stages of acute sciatica, the first 24-48 hours, after the onset of sciatic pain. Beyond this initial symptomatic stage, research shows that the vast majority of sciatica patients benefit more from heat therapy application for pain relief, particularly if the sciatic nerve pain is beyond 48-72 hours in duration.

For most people, applying the heat over the lower back and gluteal/pelvic area seems to be most effective, and will help to release some of the muscle tension in the area, which may be part of the cause of the pain.

Can a chiropractor help sciatica?

There is strong research evidence for chiropractic care to help sciatica pain relief, with more limited evidence for other conservative treatments like massage therapy and acupuncture. Chiropractors use spinal manipulation and gentle mobilization exercises to treat the nerve roots that are pinched or damaged by inflammation or swelling, or by a herniated disc in the lower back. 

Chiropractic treatments are designed to restore proper mobility and movement into the irritated areas of the spine, most often the lower lumbar spine. By restoring movement, which is critical for all sciatica sufferers, this helps to decrease inflammation and swelling, and helps to restore proper muscle function in the area.

At our chiropractic clinic in Toronto, Transform Chiropractic, we also focus on restoring proper posture to minimize any flexed hunched posture, which will help to take tension off of the sciatic nerve roots, helping to decrease pain. Research also shows that restoring proper joint movement helps to block some of the local inflammatory pain signals, helping with recovery.

Furthermore, our chiropractic doctors recommend certain exercises or stretches for sciatic nerve pain that help to alleviate some of the pain, accelerate recovery, and potentially prevent relapses in the future. For more information on our chiropractic sciatica treatment, please visit our sciatica treatment page at https://www.transformchiropractic.com/sciatica-toronto/.

Sciatica Exercises and Stretches

As with any injury, the goal is not “no pain, no gain” but initially to manage pain. Start out gently, and do not push the exercise if there is increased pain. Sciatica stretches and exercises are a critical part of self-care treatment. 

Sciatic Nerve Flossing: 

Developed by Dr. Stuart McGill, this exercise is designed to floss the sciatic pinched nerve, to help to remove any restrictions to its passage in the spinal canal or foramen, and to minimize any associated inflammation or tension on the nerve root.

Piriformis Muscle Stretch:

The Piriformis stretch is intended to take pressure off of the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle crosses the sciatic nerve, and if it becomes chronically shortened and inflamed, it can compress and irritate the nerve. By stretching and taking tension off the muscle, it is intended to release tension from the sciatic nerve, at one of its most likely impingement points.


What makes sciatica flare up?

Sciatica generally flares up when the activity directly irritates the inflamed tissues surrounding the sciatic nerve. In the majority of cases, prolonged sitting or in particular forward bending tend to cause sciatica flare ups. This will depend on the underlying cause of sciatica, but with disc bulges or a herniated disk being common causes of sciatica, both sitting and forward bending aggravate lumbar discs, and would contribute to flare ups. Try to avoid prolonged sitting, and avoid excessive forward bending, particularly early in the morning.

How do you know when sciatica is getting better?

Sciatica is generally recognized to be improving when there is less pain, but particularly when there is less pain down the legs or into the feet. This term is called centralization, meaning that if the leg or foot pain is gradually disappearing, this indicates that there is less irritation of the sciatic nerve. There may still be back pain, and in some cases the back pain may slightly worsen, but if the leg pain is slowly improving, or moving from lower in the leg to higher up the leg, back towards the lower back, this is a sign of healing and improvement of sciatica.

How long does it take for sciatic nerve pain to go away?

The duration of sciatica will vary significantly, based on the underlying cause of sciatica. If the sciatica is caused by muscle tension or piriformis syndrome, is will tend to improve much faster than a more complicated cause, such as a herniated disc, disc bulge, or spinal stenosis. 

In general, for the majority of people, sciatic pain may last for about four to six weeks, and then gradually improve over time. However, in some cases of more complicated origin, sciatic nerve pain may last for month, particularly if the underlying cause is being continually re-aggravated. 

If you have any further questions about sciatic nerve pain, or if we can help, please don’t hesitate to contact our Toronto chiropractic clinic at www.transformchiropractic.com, or at 416-604-4184.

Dr. Byron Mackay

Published first here: https://www.transformchiropractic.com/sciatica-nerve-pain-treatment/


Prenatal Chiropractic: Can a Pregnant Woman Go to a Pregnancy Chiropractor?

What is a prenatal chiropractor?

Prenatal chiropractors have had specialized training in techniques most appropriate for pregnant women: specific gentle adjustments to restore proper spinal and pelvic motion and alignment, muscle techniques, and specific stretches and exercises to assist with pregnancy and in preparation for delivery. They also focus on helping pregnant women strengthen their pelvis, back and abdominal muscles to help with labor and delivery.

Pregnancy chiropractors are often certified by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), like our chiropractors at Transform Chiropractic clinic in Toronto, and work with pregnant women in a safe, gentle way to provide relief from back pain and other pregnancy related issues. Pregnancy chiropractors work primarily on spine alignment and function as well as other joints of the body that could be contributing to discomfort during pregnancy.

Many prenatal chiropractors use techniques specifically developed for pregnant women to help with pelvic pain and in utero constraint. The Webster Technique helps ensure your baby has enough room to move around in-utero and may also help in allowing your baby to get positioned into head-down positions in late pregnancy, allowing for optimal baby positioning. Pregnancy chiropractors do not turn breech babies, but rather assist the body to position the baby naturally.

Is it safe to go to a chiropractor during pregnancy?

Before seeing any chiropractor, it is important to ensure that your chiropractor is licensed by their governing body. Additionally, it is worthwhile to enquire whether they have additional training specifically in treating pregnant women, and how much experience they have in this area. They should also have the necessary equipment for pregnancy care, in addition to the standard chiropractic equipment.

In order to ensure that pregnant patients are as comfortable as possible during each session, particularly during the third trimester, it’s important to find an experienced prenatal chiropractic doctor who has specialized equipment like drop tables for pregnant women, as well as pregnancy pillows for the growing abdomen. This helps to make the pregnancy chiropractic adjustment as comfortable as possible.

pain pregnancy

In general, pregnant patients should minimize how long they lie on their back during the third trimester, but the use of pregnancy pillows and specialized tables make chiropractic treatments safe and effective well into the third trimester.
Overall, prenatal chiropractic care is a safe and effective option for pregnant mothers. The therapy can help relieve pregnancy-related discomfort, improve posture, reduce low back pain, help with both the pregnancy and delivery, and help to prevent future injuries post-natal.

For more information on our pregnancy chiropractic care at our Toronto chiropractic clinic, please visit our prenatal chiropractic webpage.

Pregnancy Chiropractic Techniques

Prenatal chiropractors use a number of techniques when treating pregnant women. In our chiropractic clinic we use primarily hands on adjusting of the spine, pelvis and other joints, but will also employ instrument adjusting (activator) and other muscle techniques where needed. 

Pregnancy chiropractors are trained not to exert pressure on the women’s abdomen, and to use specialized techniques to minimize pressure on the sacrum and pelvis.  The use of specialized pregnancy chiropractic tables and pillows help make chiropractic spinal manipulation especially gentle for moms to be.

Many practitioners will adjust their techniques accordingly with pregnant patients and focus more on pelvic region health with regard to reducing stress on ligaments and overall uterine health. The Webster Technique is a gentle technique and is a common pregnancy technique used to help with pelvic pain, pelvic alignment and to minimize in-utero constraint for the baby. 

Your pregnancy chiropractor may also suggest specific stretches and exercises to help with your chiropractic care, and to prepare your low back, abdominal muscles and pelvis for labour and delivery.

When to Go to a Chiropractor During Pregnancy

Ideally, the best time to start chiropractic care during pregnancy is as early as possible, before there are significant postural changes to your spinal column and pelvic stress. Many women will in fact begin prenatal chiropractic visits before they are pregnant, to better prepare their body for all the changes to come.

The earlier during the pregnancy a woman goes to a chiropractor, the more likely she will be able to avoid problems like lower back pain.

Human Pregnancy Massaging Women Back Backache Abdomen Mother

Some general guidelines for when it would be appropriate for a woman to see a chiropractor include if she experiences pain during the pregnancy; low back pain that does not improve with rest; pelvic problems such as sciatica, back pain, and pelvic girdle pain; or if she has a joint injury that is not healing properly.

The chiropractor can help the pregnant woman’s body recover from the various changes that occur during pregnancy, particularly during the third trimester as the abdomen continues to grow. Regular manipulation of muscles and joints is highly beneficial for a pregnant woman, as it not only helps with back pain, neck pain, sciatica and headaches, but also helps to protect her overall health and well-being, and that of the baby.

Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor while Pregnant

Prenatal chiropractic care is a safe and effective option for pregnant mothers. Because of the focus of pregnancy chiropractic on the muscular system, spine, and joints, it is particularly helpful for women during this time. It not only helps to maintain balance in the body, but this type of care can be especially helpful for certain pregnancy symptoms like back pain or sciatica.

Many doctors are now recommending alternative medicine and treatments and recommend that patients seek out prenatal chiropractors who can help them with the following:

  • Help relieve back pain and other symptoms associated with pregnancy
  • Improve pelvic alignment and balance to aid with fetal positioning in-utero
  • Improve pelvic mobility and alignment to assist with the delivery process

Pregnancy chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to manage pelvic balance, improve posture, and to relieve pain associated from pregnancy in the back, hips, and joints. It may also help pregnant women avoid problems that may cause long-term health issues for both them and their baby.

In general, chiropractic manipulation is an effective form of manual therapy that can help prevent future injuries from poor alignment of the pelvis and may help mothers experience a more comfortable and relaxed labor and delivery process that is also safer for the baby. Many pregnant women experience these benefits by seeing a pregnancy-friendly chiropractor during their prenatal care visits.

How Often Should I Go to the Chiropractor During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, a woman’s body changes in order to accommodate the growing fetus. This includes movement and increased stress on the bones and joints, which may lead to pain or other discomfort during pregnancy. Your chiropractor will work with you on an individual basis as well as your doctor to determine how often you should schedule visits for treatment and care throughout your pregnancy.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, many women will see a chiropractor once a month in their first trimester and then again about every other week during the second and third trimesters. As they approach week 36, towards the last month of pregnancy, many may need more frequent visits depending on how their pregnancy progresses and their level of symptoms.

After delivery, it’s not unusual for women to see their chiropractors weekly or biweekly in the beginning to help with recovery from the pregnancy and delivery, and in order to maintain good posture and prevent future problems related with pelvic instability from the pregnancy. Some women elect to have their newborn checked at this time also by their pediatric chiropractor, particularly if the labor was difficult or complicated.

Pregnancy and Sciatica

Pregnancy and sciatica are unfortunately often linked, with sciatica often caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back to the buttocks area and down the leg.

Sciatica is a common condition during pregnancy due to pelvic imbalance and the increased stress on the lower back. As the abdomen grows, it often results in severe lower back pain, hip pain, pelvic discomfort and even difficulty sitting and walking.

If you are experiencing sciatic nerve pain, your chiropractor will perform a chiropractic evaluation and work with you to develop a course of action based on the symptoms and severity of your condition. Chiropractic treatment is an effective way to relieve sciatic pain for any pregnant patient, and is a great alternative when you’re unable to take medications during your pregnancy.

Chiropractic treatment for sciatica will involve an assessment to determine the underlying problem, and most often gentle chiropractic adjustments to restore the proper balance and movement in your lower back and pelvis. 

Very often, the prenatal chiropractor will also recommend other forms of physical therapy and sciatica stretches and sciatica exercises to help with pain relief, and to strengthen and stabilize your pelvis safely.

If you have any other questions about chiropractic care while pregnant, don’t hesitate to reach us through our website at www.transformchiropractic.com, or at 416-604-4184. Wishing you all the best,

Dr. Byron Mackay

Published first here: https://www.transformchiropractic.com/prenatal-chiropractic-pregnancy-chiropractor/

Should I Go To A Chiropractor For Neck Pain Relief

Neck pain is one of the most common types of musculoskeletal problems, affecting almost 50% of the population annually. Mild neck pain can be a minor annoyance, but if neck pain becomes chronic and is left untreated, it may progress to debilitating pain, headaches, arm pain, and eventually numbness, tingling and weakness.

In this article we will discuss the causes of neck pain, when you should go to a chiropractor for neck pain, whether chiropractic is safe for neck pain, what a neck adjustment is and how chiropractic care may help your neck pain.

What causes neck pain?

There are many factors associated with neck pain. These may include:

  • Chronic postural stress associated with head flexion from prolonged computer and electronic device usage.
  • Poor slouched posture and the associated muscle spasm and joint irritation.
  • Poor sleeping posture: stomach sleeping with the head twisted to one side for extended periods.
  • Trauma from whiplash injuries in car accidents or sports injuries.
  • Carrying a heavy bag/purse for prolonged periods of time.
  • Inactivity and associated stiffness and increased muscle tension and muscle spasm.
  • Wear and tear and degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, cervical disc degeneration, spinal stenosis and cervical disc herniations.

When should I be concerned about neck pain?

Consult a health care practitioner if your neck pain has worsened and is accompanied by pain that travels down your arm, numbness or tingling into your arm or hand, or noticeable weakness. This may imply a cervical disc bulge or herniated disc or spinal stenosis, which may necessitate diagnostic imaging (x-rays, MRIs) before starting any treatment.

If you’ve experienced a head or neck injury, can’t lift your head off your pillow on your own, or are suffering dizziness or blurred vision, please consult with your medical doctor or hospital.

Should I go to a chiropractor for neck pain?

Millions of patients consult with a chiropractor for neck pain on a daily basis. Research shows that the chiropractic management of neck pain is one of the most effective treatments, and can provide a safe, non-invasive alternative to prescription medications or over-the-counter pain medications.

Chiropractor Neck Adjustment

Chiropractic neck adjustments help to correct joint restrictions or misalignments in the spine, which can reduce inflammation and improve the function of the affected joint and associated nerve. This improvement in the body mechanics of your neck will help to relieve your neck pain, while also improving the overall mobility and function of your neck and upper back.

Is chiropractic safe for neck pain?

Numerous studies show that chiropractic is a safe and effective treatment for neck pain. It is a holistic form of complementary and alternative medicine that focuses on the spine and its effect on the musculoskeletal and nervous system, and the body’s ability to heal itself. Chiropractic is not a “one size fits all” approach, and is customized for each individual.

Clinical trials have found high-quality evidence that spinal manipulation is both safe and effective for treating chronic neck pain, via reductions in joint restrictions or misalignments.

As part of a literature review, researchers reviewed nine trials and found that patients with neck pain reported significant improvements following chiropractic adjustments.

One study in particular that was part of a larger literature review looked at the effects of chiropractic adjustments on patients with chronic neck pain. Researchers found that participants reported significant improvements following chiropractic care. This suggests that chiropractic is a safe and effective treatment for neck pain relief.

Does chiropractic treatment help neck pain?

Chiropractors are primary health care providers who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of spinal conditions, including the treatment of neck pain. Chiropractors commonly treat headaches, neck pain, back pain and other symptoms stemming from spinal problems.

Chiropractors use hands on spinal manipulation to treat pain by adjusting the spine and joints, effectively repositioning the bones to restore proper movement and range of motion, reducing pressure on the nerves. In conjunction with your chiropractic treatment plan, supportive stretching and home exercises can ensure your neck pain stays at bay.

Neck Pain Toronto Review

There is considerable high-quality evidence to show that patients who experience neck pain (both acute and chronic) show statistically significant pain-level improvements following chiropractic spinal manipulation. This type of treatment has been found to be more effective than many other methods, such as medication or physical therapy.

A research study that was conducted to examine the efficacy of chiropractic treatment for neck pain found that all groups showed positive changes in pain for up to 12 weeks post-treatment, the length of the study. This indicates that chiropractic treatment is an effective means for neck pain relief.

When to see a chiropractor for neck pain?

It is most effective to seek chiropractic help as soon as possible when neck pain is first experienced. This will help ensure the fastest recovery, and to prevent the problem from becoming worse, potentially complicating treatment and recovery.

If you are experiencing neck pain combined with arm or hand pain, numbness or tingling or weakness, please consult immediately with a qualified health care practitioner before beginning any type of neck stretches or exercises or home care, to rule out any serious underlying neck conditions. For a more detailed list of underlying causes of neck pain, please refer to our Toronto neck pain page on our website. 

Before beginning treatment, a thorough examination including advanced diagnostic testing may be required to determine the best treatment plan for you. 

What is a neck adjustment?

A neck chiropractic adjustment is a chiropractic treatment that is used to restore proper joint motion and alignment in the neck area (cervical spine). It is most commonly characterized by a low amplitude high velocity thrust on a misaligned or stuck cervical vertebrae, thereby restoring proper joint and spinal function.

A chiropractic neck adjustment will often relieve pain, reduce tension in the neck muscles, treat headaches, and improve posture. There are multiple chiropractic techniques for neck adjustments, ranging from more manual cervical manipulations to more gentle instrument spinal adjustments.

Chiropractor Adjustment

There are many reasons why you may need a neck adjustment, including, but not limited to: neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches, poor posture, and Upper Crossed Syndrome.

Neck adjustments, and a chiropractic adjustment in general, are often seen as great alternatives to surgery and pharmaceuticals for certain patients. Chiropractors are highly-trained professionals who understand the anatomy and biomechanics of the human body. When a person experiences neck pain or shoulder pain, it is often because there is a misalignment in their spine that is causing tension and inflammation. A chiropractor can restore proper alignment and relieve pain quickly and effectively.

How does a chiropractic adjustment help neck pain?

A Chiropractic adjustment (cervical manipulation) helps to relieve neck pain by correcting misalignments in the spine while improving joint mobility and mechanics, decreasing inflammation, spasm and pain.

Chiropractors may also recommend that people with neck pain incorporate strengthening exercises and stretches for their neck, along with mobilizations and massage.

Chiropractors treat the neck by using a variety of techniques to adjust the spine, incorporating both low force and more manual technique approaches, depending on the individual needs of the patient.

Chiropractic care is often recommended as a first line of treatment for neck pain.

What are the benefits of chiropractic neck adjustments?

Chiropractic care is a form of treatment that focuses on the adjustment and alignment of the spine and nervous system. It is often used to treat neck pain, shoulder pain and tension headaches. There are many benefits to chiropractic neck adjustment, including reduced inflammation, muscle spasm, and discomfort in the neck.

Young Woman Smiling at Camera

One of the main benefits of chiropractic neck adjustment is its ability to help patients manage their pain and swelling more effectively than prescription medications or over-the-counter pain relievers. Additionally, routine chiropractic care can help improve posture, joint function, increase range of motion, reduce inflammation, and help to slow down cervical spine degeneration.

It is always best to speak with your chiropractor, physician, or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new health care regimen.

How long do I need to see a chiropractor for neck pain?

In order to determine how long a patient will need chiropractic care, an examination is conducted that may include a consultation, physical assessment and palpation, and x-rays. This will help the chiropractor understand the underlying cause of the neck pain and how best to treat it. 

Depending on the cause, chiropractic treatment may be more short term, requiring fewer visits, or more long term in duration. In many cases, people only need to see a chiropractor for a short period of time to achieve relief from their neck pain, often in as few as 5-10 visits. In the case of more complicated or chronic neck pain, a longer duration treatment plan may be required with more frequent visits. 

Although chiropractic care is a great way to relieve neck pain and shoulder pain, it is not a cure-all in every case. If patients do not see improvement in their symptoms in a reasonable time following the chiropractor’s treatment protocol, other health care providers may be necessary for a full resolution of symptoms. Consult with your chiropractor about their best recommendations.

Chiropractor for pinched nerve in neck

Neck pain can be caused by a variety of things, including muscle tension, pinched nerves, and herniated discs. Pain that is localized to the neck area is generally more easily treated, becoming more serious and complicated as the pain radiates into other areas.

Neck pain from a pinched nerve can radiate throughout the shoulder and down the arm, and may also be accompanied by sensations of numbness and tingling, and even weakness if it continues to worsen.

Poor Posture

Chiropractors are experts in relieving pressure on nerves and restoring proper alignment of the spine and vertebra. They can help reduce inflammation and muscle spasms, which can lead to significant relief from a pinched nerve causing shoulder and neck pain.

There are a few things you can do at home to help ease your neck pain. Consistent stretching and doing the exercises your chiropractor recommends can help to relax tight neck muscles. Soft tissue therapy and massage therapy can also help to loosen muscle knots in the neck and shoulders, providing relief from pain.

As most neck pain is associated with poor posture combined with age-related wear and tear or arthritis, postural and core exercises may also be recommended by your chiropractor.

Chiropractors are one of the most effective treatments for pinched nerves in the neck. Research shows that chiropractic intervention was safe and well-tolerated by patients, with significant pain-level improvements following chiropractic treatment.

Chiropractor or massage for neck pain?

Neck pain can be caused by a variety of factors, such as poor posture, stress, injuries, and even sleeping in the wrong position. Because there are so many potential causes, it is important to seek treatment from a chiropractor or massage therapist who can properly diagnose the root cause of your pain. 

Depending on the cause of the neck pain, different treatments may be necessary, such as adjustments from a chiropractor, massage therapy with a registered massage therapist, or physical therapy with a physiotherapist.

Chiropractic care is a form of physical therapy that focuses on the spine. It focuses on the spinal manipulation to correct misalignments and restore proper alignment, and may also include the use of heat, cold, stretches and exercises and electrical stimulation to speed up the healing process.

This can be a very effective treatment option for neck pain, but may not be appropriate for everyone. A thorough history and assessment is required before beginning treatment with a doctor of chiropractic, or any licensed health-care professional.

Massage therapy is a form of physical therapy that focuses on the muscles and soft tissue of the body. The treatment focuses on the release of tension in the muscles and soft tissues, generally involving gentle pressure by the registered massage therapist.

These are two of the different options for people who are looking for relief from neck pain. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to consider all of the information before making a decision.

What is “tech neck”?

Tech neck is a painful condition caused by excessive hours spent in front of a computer, smart phone or other electronic devices. It is caused by the combination of poor posture, poor ergonomics, and the repetitive flexing down of the neck, resulting in muscle strain or spasm and cervical spine misalignment.

Tech Neck Pain

Chiropractors can treat “tech neck” by adjusting the neck in order to correct the alignment, and by addressing the poor posture through neck exercises and stretches and improved ergonomics.

What can you do to prevent tech neck?

Chronic neck pain from tech neck is often the result of poor posture and excessive stress on the neck and shoulders. This can be caused by spending too much time looking down at a computer or other device, or by carrying heavy loads regularly. Symptoms include neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, and fatigue.

In order to prevent tech neck, it is important to maintain good posture throughout the day. This can be done by avoiding leaning forward or keeping your head down for extended periods of time. You can also stretch your neck and shoulder muscles regularly, and use a laptop stand, ergonomic mouse and wear a headset to help keep your posture more upright and in check. Regular exercise and making sure you get enough rest will also help your body to heal properly and reduce the likelihood of developing chronic pain in the future.

Neck Pain Chiropractic

Some good exercises to both prevent and treat tech neck that we recommend in our chiropractic clinic include:

  • Neck retraction or chin tuck exercise
  • Pectoral stretches
  • Wall angels exercise

In addition to the above postural and ergonomic considerations, chiropractors are also a good source of treatment for tech neck, and can help to relieve the symptoms of tech neck and prevent future injury.

If you have any questions, or we can help in any other way, please feel free to contact us at our Toronto chiropractic clinic Transform Chiropractic at 416-604-4184.

Dr. Byron Mackay

Published first here: https://www.transformchiropractic.com/chiropractor-for-neck-pain/

How do chiropractic adjustments work: Understanding what a chiropractic adjustment does and why.

Chiropractic is a common approach to health care that has been around for more than 100 years, and has been shown to be effective for a wide range of health complaints.

There are many types of chiropractors and chiropractic specialties, but the one commonality among all of them is the primary use of the chiropractic adjustment or spinal manipulation in patient treatment and care.

Transform Chiropractic Adjustment

What is a chiropractic adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is a spinal manipulation or joint manipulation administered by a chiropractor (spinal specialist) to realign or restore proper joint motion in the body, most commonly in the spine.

Classically done by hand, although sometimes also with a small instrument called an activator, a high velocity low amplitude controlled force or thrust is applied to the misaligned or stuck vertebra to improve spinal motion, joint alignment, and to decrease nerve irritation and associated pain.

Techniques of joint manipulation have evolved over time to include not only adjustments in the neck, back, or spine of the patient, but to also include misaligned extremity joints as well.

What is a Spinal Misalignment and what causes it?

A spinal misalignment is a condition in which one or more vertebrae are out of place. This may be the result of an injury, chronic tension, or other issue.

Spinal misalignment can be caused by a number of factors, including: injury such as from a car accident or fall; muscle contractions from chronic tension that pull your joints out of alignment; poor posture (either while awake or while sleeping); and repetitive motions.

When the spine is misaligned or stuck, this can create inflammation and irritate spinal nerves, causing pain and other problems. Chiropractic adjustments or spinal manipulation are a chiropractic treatment used to correct spinal misalignments.

Doctor Holding X-ray Verterbra

How do chiropractic adjustments work?

A chiropractic adjustment works by a chiropractor applying a high velocity, low amplitude thrust to a stuck or misaligned spinal joint or vertebra, sometimes referred to as a vertebral subluxation.

This restores spinal motion and function to the restricted joint, decreasing localized inflammation and nerve irritation, decreasing pain and associated local muscle spasm.

The adjustment or spinal manipulation is often accompanied by a popping sound, termed a joint cavitation, which is caused by a pressure change in the joint capsule and the release of nitrogen gas.

This release of joint pressure with the adjustment will often also be accompanied by an immediate feeling of pain relief and an immediate improvement in the spinal movement and overall mobility in the area of the adjustment.

There are a number of different approaches or techniques of adjustments. Some of the most common chiropractic adjustment techniques are Gonstead, Diversified, Thompson, Activator and Chiropractic Biophysics.

In our Toronto chiropractic clinic Transform Chiropractic, we utilize all of these techniques, depending on the specific needs of the patient.

Almost all adjustments have the goal to correct spinal and vertebral misalignment and to restore movement. Because each individual patient is unique, each chiropractor adjustment will be customized to the particular patient.

Chiropractic manipulation has been demonstrated to decrease pain, decrease inflammation, restore joint biomechanics, and to decrease localized muscle spasm. When combined with other chiropractic treatments, it has also been shown to improve overall global spinal movement and improve posture.

How do chiropractors know where to adjust?

Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to determine where to adjust a patient’s spine. This includes, but is not limited to, taking a patient’s medical history, discussing their symptoms, and examining the patient.

They may also use diagnostic tests such as palpation, posture analysis, range of motion, leg length measurement and analysis, gait, and advanced imaging tests like x-rays and MRIs to help them better understand the condition of the spine and identify any areas that may need adjusting.

Woman doing posture assessment

A chiropractor will use palpation to test for any stiff or misaligned trouble spots. By applying gentle pressure along the spine, the chiropractor can look for restricted or misaligned vertebra.

This information is used to create a treatment plan that will help to restore normal motion and realign the spine to decrease pain and improve the patient’s health over time.

How does a chiropractor perform a chiropractic adjustment?

Originally done exclusively by hand, although sometimes more recently with a small instrument called an activator, a chiropractic adjustment is classically a high velocity low amplitude controlled force or thrust to a misaligned or stuck vertebra (often termed a vertebral subluxation).

This spinal manipulation thrust is designed to improve spinal motion, joint alignment, and to decrease nerve irritation, inflammation and associated pain.

The chiropractor applies a quick, short force to the joint, which will then release the muscle tension and allow the joint to go back into its proper place. The chiropractor is able to do this by understanding how each of your muscles attach to certain bones and joints.

Chiropractors are able to adjust the spine without producing a sound and still provide significant therapeutic benefits. The audible pop that is sometimes heard during an adjustment (termed a joint cavitation) is not necessary for the chiropractic manipulation to be effective.

Many people report feeling better after just one adjustment, regardless of whether or not there was an audible pop.

There are numerous chiropractic adjusting approaches or techniques, although most will have a similar outcome or goal. To restore movement in stuck spinal joints (or in some cases extremity joints), restore proper alignment, allowing the spine and nervous system to function better, resulting in less pain and improved health for the chiropractic patient.

Do chiropractors actually adjust anything?

Yes, chiropractors do adjust spinal joints (and in some cases extremity joints in other areas of the body). The term “adjust” is defined as “to alter or move something slightly in order to achieve the desired result”.

Chiropractic adjustments have been demonstrated on both x-ray and fluoroscopy (a medical procedure that shows real-time movement in the body) to achieve specific movement in restricted spinal joints with a thrust to the misaligned vertebra, as per the definition of “adjust”.

How do I keep my chiropractic adjustment in place?

After you begin chiropractic care and starting receiving chiropractic adjustments, your body at first may not be used to it’s new aligned posture and movement patterns. Some of your postural habits and muscle adaptation has likely been present for years, and it will take time to form new postural and movement habits.

During this early stage of chiropractic treatment, while your body is in a transitional stage, your spinal muscles and nervous system are not used to this new posture, and may start to slowly pull and return the misalignment vertebrae back into their old position.

To help your chiropractic adjustment to stay in place and “hold” better, we recommend patients walk after every chiropractic adjustment for five to ten minutes, in order to reinforce some of the new movement patterns.

At our chiropractic clinic in Toronto, we also provide specific stabilization exercises to patients, to help strengthen their spine, which will help to keep their adjustments in place for longer. Addressing chronic postural problems is critical for this. If poor posture is left unaddressed, this will pull the adjustments out of place faster.

Woman doing bird dog pose

As per the Chiropractic Biophysics technique, we also provide specific corrective postural exercises and stretches, along with spinal traction devices (Denneroll spinal orthotic), customized to the x-ray results of the patient.

These take home exercises and traction devices help to change the patient’s soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments) over time, allowing for the structural changes from the chiropractic adjustments to stay in place for longer, and for the patient to achieve better and more long lasting symptomatic improvements.

How do chiropractors adjust themselves?

Chiropractors are not able to adjust themselves. In order to have their spine properly assessed and adjusted, they would need a proper chiropractic examination (posture analysis, leg length/gait analysis, palpation, range of motion, special imaging) and another chiropractor to perform the chiropractic adjustment.

Who can benefit from a chiropractic adjustment?

Chiropractic adjustments have been shown in multiple research studies to be beneficial for patients experiencing a number of conditions: lower back pain, neck pain, sciatica, arthritis, disc herniations, chronic pain, bad posture and headaches.

Chiropractic treatment can benefit a wide number of patients as the adjustment has been shown to decrease pain, increase movement and flexibility, decrease inflammation, minimize joint and muscle injuries and improve posture.

Is spinal manipulation and chiropractic care an effective form of treatment for back pain, neck pain and joint pain?

Spinal manipulation and chiropractic care are considered effective forms of treatment for low back pain, neck pain, joint pain and overall musculoskeletal pain. Chiropractors use spinal manipulation or a specific adjusting technique to restore proper spinal alignment to relieve pressure on a given nerve or soft tissue, help to restore normal movement, provide pain relief and improve overall function.

If you have any questions, or we can help in any other way, please feel free to contact us at our Toronto chiropractor clinic.  

Dr. Byron Mackay

Published first here: https://www.transformchiropractic.com/how-do-chiropractic-adjustments-work-for-pain-relief/

How much do chiropractic visits cost: Comparison of chiropractic pricing and chiropractor fees in Toronto and what to expect

Perhaps you’ve been experiencing back pain or neck pain for a while now and are ready to make an appointment with a chiropractor to get it checked out. But how much do chiropractic services cost, and what are the factors to consider with chiropractic pricing?

This article will give you a breakdown of what to expect when it comes to cost for chiropractic treatments as well as how pricing for a chiropractor may vary in Toronto. It’ll also explore some of the factors that affect the price, such as treatment approach, location, and insurance coverage and extended health benefits.

Doctor pointing at spine model

How much does a chiropractic visit cost?

The cost of treatment for chiropractor services is often significantly less than what you might think.

For example, according to the Ontario Chiropractic Association, the average cost for an initial visit (consultation and initial assessment) in a chiropractic office in Toronto may range from $75 – $150, and for subsequent visits or adjustments it’s approximately $40 – 80 per session.

This first consultation price will vary somewhat depending on the location, but most chiropractors in Toronto charge $75-150 dollars in order to provide a thorough examination of any health concerns, with some variation based on any specialized tests needed, such as spinal x-rays or MRIs.

The prices for chiropractors will vary somewhat based on location, with downtown Toronto chiropractors generally costing slightly more than chiropractors in the suburbs or country.

Doctor Consulting Patient

The chiropractic pricing in our downtown Toronto chiropractic clinic, Transform Chiropractic, is $75 for a full examination and assessment of a new patient. This initial examination generally requires 45-60 minutes. Depending on the patient, if x-rays are necessary, we have digital x-ray facilities in our Toronto chiropractic office.

As you can see, chiropractic visits are amongst the most affordable treatment options for neck pain, back pain, sciatica and overall pain relief.

In some offices, additional therapies or treatment modalities may be recommended in a thorough treatment plan, such as ultrasound, tens, laser therapy, or spinal decompression, and may have add-on costs to a regular visit.

Is chiropractic covered by insurance?

In most instances, chiropractic is covered by insurance or by extended health care plans. Health care coverage will vary based on the insurance plan, with the examination and treatment or adjustments most often covered. Additional services like x-rays, physical therapy or additional modalities may not be covered. To find out which chiropractic treatment may be covered under your health insurance, it is best to follow up with your specific insurance provider.

Health Insurance Document

Chiropractic insurance coverage is meant to remove the burden of neck pain and lower back pain from the medical system, reduce the need for opioid use, and minimize the need for costly and invasive spinal surgeries. Routine chiropractic care has been shown repeatedly to provide great results for patients.

Is chiropractic covered by OHIP?

In the past, chiropractic was covered by OHIP. Unfortunately, along with physiotherapy and a number of other health care practices, it was delisted from OHIP coverage in the early 2000s. Chiropractic care, like massage therapy, acupuncture and physiotherapy, is not covered by OHIP presently.

How much does a chiropractor cost without insurance?

The cost of a chiropractor without insurance will vary, but in most cases is surprisingly reasonable. In the majority of chiropractic offices, the cost of a chiropractor with no insurance will range from $75-150 for the initial examination, and the cost of chiropractic treatments range from $40-80.

How much does a chiropractic x-ray cost?

The cost of chiropractic x-rays will depend on the x-ray facility and the specific injury or x ray views required.

In general, for any spinal area, a minimum of two x-rays are needed at 90 degrees to each other. These are generally an xray from the front or back, along with a side or lateral view x-ray.

The costs for x-rays will vary greatly among chiropractic offices, from $50-250 dollars, depending on the number of views and the specialization of the views.

Doctor with Spine X-Ray

In our clinic we have digital x-ray facilities. We charge $15 per view. For a typical new patient that may require x-rays (depends on the specific case), the x-ray views would range from $30-60 total.

If you are looking for a chiropractor that does x-rays near you, it is best to call the office, as this may not be listed on the clinic website.

If you have any additional questions about how much chiropractors cost, or how much for a chiropractor adjustment specifically, please feel free to follow up with our Toronto chiropractic clinic Transform Chiropractic. We can also be reached at 416-604-4184.

Dr. Byron Mackay

The post How much do chiropractic visits cost: Comparison of chiropractic pricing and chiropractor fees in Toronto and what to expect appeared first on Transform Chiropractic.

Published first here: https://www.transformchiropractic.com/chiropractic-pricing-toronto/

Chiropractor: Why and How to Choose a Chiropractor

A chiropractor practices treatment for diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, with manual manipulation of the spine.

A chiropractor intends to reduce your ailments and improves your performance as well. They also educate you about the benefits and which exercises, therapies and ergonomics you can use.

Chiropractic is a great way to get treated without having to take any pain-killing medication or any form of surgical procedure. Just like any doctor, a chiropractor also has to undergo educational programs and practice for years to become a professional chiropractor. They have to learn various subjects like nutrition, anatomy, physiology and holistic health.

Fundamental Beliefs and Goals

A chiropractor has the ability to understand the relationship between your spine and the nervous system and are able to clarify these beliefs:

• The structural derangement and bio mechanical structures of the spine affect your nervous system immensely.

Read More: Chiropractor: Why and How to Choose a Chiropractor